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pandemic volleyball

by Shawni

I never wrote about Claire’s new volleyball club dealio.

It’s her fourth year in club volleyball, and her fourth club.

Which seems kind of strange, but it’s been a good journey for her.

We have gone from not knowing what in the world was going on at her first club tryout (so different from boys volleyball, so many emotions! So much more competitive! So many more clubs!) Each year she’s learned a little bit more, and gained a little more confidence, and has learned so much from her teams and coaches.

For some reason I kind of figured we just wouldn’t do club this year. Covid cut her season very short last year and who knew if these club teams would really be able to have tournaments? Would all the hoopla be worth it? And even if covid clears up and lets it happen, what about Claire’s “junior summer internship” we’ve done with all our kids thus far…how can we make that work with summer club tournaments going strong? (we will figure that out…sounds like the timing will work!).

But, that volleyball girl of ours took matters into her own hands. She went to every open gym she could (leading up to tryouts all the clubs have open gyms for the coaches to get eyes on the players they want). She paid the fees, took care of all the registrations, and had stars in her eyes the whole time. She ended up being pretty heavily recruited by two really good teams and you could just see her confidence building by the day.

There is so much beauty watching your child take the lead in things like this. Dave and I were completely hands-off until the last two days before tryouts when it hit us that we better get educated on that in the world was happening. Her high school coach was so great with advice and we talked through all the scenarios. She was pretty set on one team, and then swayed over to the other in the last hours (a great setter had decided to go back to that team). Gosh that is stressful! And I sat there and wondered how in Heaven’s name did we go from not wanting to do club to what was happening?!

But she made a decision, we had a fervent little hugging prayer with her sitting perched on the counter when she started to get teary with serious second guesses after midnight (so many girls pulling her different directions, as well as coaches…that’s so much pressure for coaches to revamp according to where girls go and who shows up to tryouts, she didn’t want to let anyone down).

So her voice coming through clear and calm on the phone after tryouts the next day was such a relief. She felt so good about her decision, and loved the team that had come together.

There’s nothing like kids having positive experiences with decisions to build on for the next “impossible” one that comes their way.

After her first tournament she came home, eyes and her whole body positively GLOWING both days. Only three parents from the whole team can be there in person so since Dave and I didn’t get picked that time around, we watched huddled over our little phones (they’ve figured out to stream it live to the rest of us).

It’s been fun to watch Claire’s confidence and skill deepen and develop even in the small little part of club season we’ve had so far. And then that confidence wanes again, there will be a bad practice, a tough loss, a hit needing extra practice. And then it waxes again. It’s all such a good learning curve.

I got picked as a parent that could attend one of the days not long ago. Little did I know us three moms would be completely in charge of the streaming and scoring for all the other parents watching from home. Phew, that was stressful as we got set up, but it was SO good to be there and get to know a couple moms and all these girls.

This is how volleyball looks these days. Masks and all.

Claire says it’s hard to breathe in that thing, but she’s so thankful for masks, and that wearing them allows her to play!

I still love the little smiley wave after a game since they can’t shake hands or give high-fives.

So there you go, a little peek into pandemic volleyball.

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1 comment

Ashely March 8, 2021 - 3:46 pm

Hey there! I have read your blog for years and LOVE it and your sweet fam… We are visiting AZ for spring break. Can you send some recs for good Mexican food or any fun restaurants? I have kids ages 9 to 16. We will be staying in Phoenix for a few days then traveling to Sedona and one day in Tucson visiting U of A. Thanks so much!!! Ashley from Tennessee

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